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Brazilian university develops drone for monitoring water

Researchers from the University of Brasilia (UnB) in partnership with the French Institute for Research and Development (IRD) and the federal universities of Amazonas (Ufam) and Ceará (UFC) will develop a drone to assist in the monitoring water of artificial reservoirs, lakes and rivers of the country.

According to Henrique Roig, professor at the Institute of Geosciences at UnB, the goal of AquaVant – junction of water and vant (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, in portuguese) words that named the project – is to capture images that are hard to obtain in the field and by satellite, thus fill a gap existing in remote sensing system. The intention, in short, is to diversify the observation platforms to register the environmental changes of water bodies more accurately.

“The drone can fly below the clouds after a strong rain, for example, and record the movement of sediments in the water, which is impossible to be seen from land and stations,” says Roig. Among the advantages, the professor also cites cost and more agility to detect problems such as oil spills on water.

The fact that there are no studies with drones to monitor water quality in the country makes AquaVant a unique and unpublished work. “There are hundreds of drones, but almost all are facing security, territorial mapping and precision farming,” says the professor. The project, with funding from the Financier of Studies and Projects (FINEP), involves four researchers at UnB who will soon start testing lenses and cameras multi and hyperspectral in small size (700g) in aircraft.

Source: AEB